Dysfunctional family

God is everywhere, sometimes in strange guises, in Jonathan Franzen’s Crossroads

Twenty years ago The Corrections alerted a troubled world to the talents of Jonathan Franzen. Though cruel and funny and aggressively clever, the novel did more than display its author’s spiky brilliance. A stubborn moral core, in the person of the ailing patriarch of the Lambert family, and a tangled web of fierce emotion binding him and his wife and three children, gave it powerful resonance. Franzen’s new novel, Crossroads, presents us with another patriarch and another set of dysfunctional family dynamics. What has changed in the past two decades? Now less inclined to show off, Franzen is more assiduous in his excavation of character. We get less dazzle and